Dynasty Draft Profile: Javorius Allen
March 19, 2015 | Chad Scott
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Javorius ‘Buck’ Allen will be the first USC running back drafted into the NFL since Stanley Havili and Allen Bradford in 2011.
I have a feeling Buck will be the first USC running back to be fantasy relevant since Reggie Bush and LenDale White were drafted back in 2006.
When asked why he chose the University of Southern California, Allen replied, “To be great.” I love this quote from his Pro Day and while Allen doesn’t hold any of the school’s records, he more than left his mark in Trojan history accounting for 2984 yards and 25 touchdowns from 2013-2014.
After just six touches as a redshirt freshman, Allen wasn’t able to find playing time in 2013 until injuries hit the primary ball carriers, Tre Madden and Silas Redd. Over the final six games, Allen seized his opportunity:
I haven’t used the dreaded extrapolation machine this year, but I surely will now. (Disclaimer: Extrapolation Nazis need not look at upcoming table… avert your eyes!)
While the touchdown rate was clearly absurd, it’s conceivable Allen may have come closer to 3900 total yards and an added bonus of 82 receptions to close out his college career. Of course, I blame Lane Kiffin and his visor. He got fired and the world rejoiced.
While Kiffin kept Buck at bay, it was another Allen who saw the running back’s real potential. USC alum and NFL Hall of Famer, Marcus Allen, personally asked for Buck by name while addressing the entire team midway through the 2013 season:
“I love the way you run, man,” Marcus Allen said. “Your time is going to come. Just stay patient and wait for your opportunity.”
Buck Allen has been compared to a stronger Andre Ellington by CBS while former University of Washington, now USC running backs coach likened him to Bishop Sankey. I know, I can feel you’re excitement, derps.
Not that I compare the two, but when I input his 2014 stats into sports-reference.com‘s Player Game Finder tool, I got this:
What this means? No idea, but I hope Rich Hribar can explain it to me on next week’s Faked Goods Podcast with Reception Perception creator, Matt Harmon…
Let’s get into the meat and potatoes.
Allen’s biggest attribute heading into the draft are his hands. One of, if not the better pass catchers in this class, Allen finished with the ninth-most receptions in the NCAA with (41). Whether it be on screens or in the flat, Allen has some of the better pair of mits I’ve come across midway into this process. It’s rare to see a ball come in contact with his body or pads. Nearly every reception is technically sound and natural – as if it’s second nature to him. He’s great in the screen game as demonstrated below, but more than capable of running routes outside the box as well. Here, Allen takes advantage of beautiful play-calling by allowing his blockers to remain in front until he sees daylight for the score:
What aides Allen’s success on these screen plays is his understanding and willingness to pass protect when asked upon. He’s effective in pass pro and utilizes his 220lb body to engage the rusher, allowing his quarterback to get the pass off untouched:
For one of the heavier backs in this class, Allen’s 3-cone time (RB7) proved how flexible and agile he can be. While he doesn’t consistently show that on film, he has it within him to do it on the football field. Here, Allen shows good vision, cutback ability, burst and balance while dragging a defender across the goal line:
I’ll be the first to admit when I looked up Allen’s date of birth, I was disappointed. Age is a huge factor when we’re talking dynasty – and especially rookie running backs. He’s not Uncle Buck old, but Allen turns 24 this August and will no doubt be cast aside as chum for other leaguemates. Dynasty owners inherently opt for the younger asset when given the choice between two similarly matched prospects. There’s nothing wrong with that – I do it all the time, but I’m an ageist and seeking help, what’s your excuse?
While is age is the major bugaboo, given his size and running style, Allen lacks power and drive on the inside. He’s more than happy to run into a pile, but rarely does said pile move forward when he does. After watching it time and time again, I couldn’t put my finger as to why. He looks powerful/explosive and keeps his legs driving forward, but came to the realization he runs extremely high into the teeth of defenses. Yes, I watched both buzzed off some IPA and sober to confirm this information. I should have just asked Josh Norris or #DraftTwitter I guess.
He doesn’t possess breakaway speed NFL teams are enamored with (Hi, Dri Archer). While Allen was the RB7 in this year’s 40Yd, he would have been the RB14 in last year’s crop ahead of future plodder jokes, Terrance West and Andre Williams.
Lastly, I mentioned his running style and how upright he tends to be. As a 6-foot-plus running back, that’s only good for giving defenders a bigger target to hit and maim – pillaging any fantasy goodies you hoped to get that week. Lowering his pad level will go a long way in his development and transition into the NFL while helping with balance and cutting down on tripping from a defender’s outstretched arm.
His current dynasty value is non-existent. We’ve discussed how superior this class of running backs are from the 2014 crop and Allen is already behind the 8-ball because of his Doug Martin-like age coming out of college. If Allen is going to find himself on any of my dynasty squads, it’ll have to be because he was drafted by a throw-first team. A throw-first team who lean on the running backs heavily in the pass game. Ideally, you’d want him to land on a running back thirsty team as well. With the current news regarding Bernard Pierce, I’d love to see him land in Baltimore with Joe Flacco and #TeamTrestman as the only real backs on their current roster are soon-to-be 30 year old Justin Forsett and Faked Goods favorite, Lorenzo Taliaferro.
Naturally, he’ll end up a Buffalo Bill and this article will self-destruct from the site.
As I mentioned above, Buck fell into a perfect situation for his skill set – much like Liam Neeson in all 50 ‘Taken’ movies. Allen will be the team’s third stringer at worst once camp breaks. Forsett – who turns 30 in October – is coming off a career-season and was rewarded by the Ravens with a three year, nine-million dollar contract – with a 3.7 million dollar cap hit in both 2016 and 2017. Allen’s May ADP (via DynastyLeagueFootball.com) is 26.80 making him a potential steal in the early third round of rookie drafts. He steps into a Trestman offense that’s averaged nearly 30 more targets to running backs with his time in Chicago. Buck was drafted to specifically to fill a need in Trestman’s offense while spelling Forsett when possible. Taliaferro is the team’s only true power back, but think both Allen and Taliaferro have fantasy value going forward. As much as I’d love to proclaim my 2014 mancrush (LT) the successor to Forsett, Allen is best suited for the offense and will be a huge value given his draft slot an Forsett’s uncertain future after 2015.